KAKINADA: AT least 43 bridges and culverts in East Godavari district are sending shivers down the spine for commuters, especially after the British-era bridge over river Savitri at Mahad on Mumbai-Goa highway was washed away on Wednesday. All these bridges are more than 40 years old with severe damages and direly need repairs.
The bridges and culverts are maintained by the roads and buildings department in the divisions of Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram and Amalapuram where majority of them are marked as ‘high danger zone.’ Of them, at least 10 bridges and culverts are severely damaged. No repairs were taken up on these bridges and culverts in the last five years aggravating the threat posed to the lives of commuters.
At the district headquarters, a narrow bridge on the road of Sri Bhavanarayana Swami temple-Madhavapatnam railway gate is highly dangerous. Another bridge on the Upputeru at the Uppada- Moolapet on Kakinada beach-Addaripeta Road is also in ruins. Similarly, the bridges at Kothapeta-Kapileswarapuram Road, Uppada-Konapapapeta Road, Naagulapalli-Ramanakkapeta Road, Sivakodu-Maanepalli Road, Amalapuram-Ainavalli Road, and Amalapuram-Challapalli Road etc urgently need repairs.
According to the officials, there are 25 such bridges in Kakinada division, 10 in Rajamahendravaram division and eight in Amalapuram division. As per a preliminary estimation, around `75-80 crore is required for the repair works.
Recently, the AP State Assembly Assurances Committee visited some of the places and discussed about the repair works of the dangerous bridges and culverts with the roads and buildings department officials. The Committee expressed dissatisfaction about the attitude of the authorities concerned towards the public inconvenience caused by these damaged bridges. It ordered the district authorities to take immediate action regarding the repairs of the damaged bridges.
“Already repair works of three of the bridges have begun. Two works are in tenders finalisation stage, while two other works are at designing stage. We are doing our best to complete the repair works at the earliest,” TSN Murthy, superintending engineer (SE) of the roads and buildings department told TNIE.